I am SO excited about today’s blog post!! If you follow me on Instagram, you may already know what we’ve been up to around here since I’ve been sharing the progress with you in my stories!
I’ve partnered with AirStone for this project. All opinions are my own.
I have always loved the look of stone. I mean, stone just makes me swoon! There is something about the feel and the texture that exudes warmth and comfort, and ever since we bought this English Cottage Revival-style home, I just knew that one day I would have to incorporate stone somewhere in this house.
Just recently I shared about our home exterior here, and how we were able to add stone to our front porch this summer. While I loved the look of stone on the outside of our home, I still wanted it somewhere on the inside, and the most obvious place for us to incorporate it was our fireplace.
Because there are clear views of the fireplace from our entry, sunroom, dining space and kitchen, I knew that adding stone here would provide that cottage-y, rustic warmth that I’m seeking to achieve throughout my entire home.
I probably began looking at options for stone about a year ago, and it wasn’t long before I discovered AirStone on Pinterest. I was very intrigued by the fact that it looked like real stone, yet weighed 75% less. After reading through several tutorials and seeing just how easy it was to install, I decided to contact AirStone and before I knew it, I had several boxes sitting in my living room!
Today I’m going to share our AirStone fireplace makeover with you, step by step. Here are the materials we used for this project:
- Putty Knife
- Miter Saw with Masonry Blade
- Scrap 1×4’s at various lengths
Before we begin, here’s a before picture of our fireplace:
When we bought this house, the brick had already been painted white. Last year I painted it gray, and while I liked the contrast in color, I loved the idea of stone even more.
For this project, we chose AirStone’s newest color, Birch Bluff. Each box contains a combination of white, gray and beige stones.
Before you apply any stone to your surface, it’s wise to open some boxes and sort your stone according to the color of the plastic wrap. It helped us to stay more organized and keep better track of which colors we were using.
Once we had a few boxes sorted, we followed the installation instructions and started with the row directly above the fireplace opening.
We chose thinner pieces for this row, and applied the adhesive to the stone with a putty knife just as you would apply frosting to a cupcake. We made sure to level each stone in this first row, as well.
My husband held these pieces into place only a few seconds before letting go, and we never experienced sagging or sliding.
As we worked our way down, some of the larger pieces did slide slightly. Scrap 1×4 works perfect for supports if you need them. You’ll see what I mean in just a moment!
In order to save time, we chose to use our miter saw with a masonry blade for cutting the AirStone, rather than a hacksaw. It was so much faster and since our fireplace required a lot of cuts, the miter saw really helped to speed up the process.
I failed to take pictures of my husband actually cutting the stone, but as we were cleaning and finishing up I snapped a quick picture of the saw and blade we used for reference.
The corners were fairly simple, you just want to be sure that you keep them wrapped until you’re ready to use them. Since each beveled piece has a matching primary stone, you don’t want to lose track of your mates.
The beveled piece will be the last stone in your row, and it’s mate will meet up perfectly to create a 90 degree corner.
We chose to cut some of the beveled corner pieces down in length so that they weren’t all matching. I think this helped to give the fireplace a more natural look.
If you’re reading this tutorial and you’re concerned about the level of experience this product requires, let me share a few photos with you.
This is where my husband and I stopped on day one:
The next day while my husband was at work, I laid the boys down for afternoon naps and decided to try and work on the fireplace myself. When my husband came home, he couldn’t believe how much I’d accomplished. Since my hands were covered in adhesive and dust, he took a picture of the progress I had made in just a few hours:
Now, since we had just applied stone to our front porch a few weeks prior to this project, I did have some experience working with stone, but not much. Applying AirStone was honestly so simple! The most difficult part was covering the stone corbels that jut out to support the mantle.
(I’m calling them corbels, if you know the correct terminology please let me know! Haha!)
Before we tackled the top part of the fireplace, my husband tore out the existing cove molding that surrounded the brick.
I worked my way to the top and made sure that the main body of the fireplace was completed first before starting on the corbels.
We used beveled edge pieces and cut them at various lengths vertically to created a staggered look. We also had to cut them horizontally in order to cover the brick but avoid any overhang. On the bottom row of the corbel, I didn’t use any matching primary stones. Since these stones were heavier, I used scrap 1×4 to support them and keep them from sliding down.
For the middle and top row of each corbel we used primary stone mates to pair with the beveled stone front pieces, just like the other corners of the fireplace. Eventually I ran out of wood, so I used whatever I could get my hands on to support each row. Mop and broom handles worked just fine! We let the adhesive set for just a few hours before removing the supports.
To give the fireplace a more finished look, my husband once again added cove molding where the stone met the mantle. I taped off the stone and painted it white to match the other builtins.
I couldn’t be more happy with the results! What do you guys think?!
I just the love the rustic warmth that the stone creates in my living room!
The color combination is so beautiful, and I love that it’s so much lighter and brighter than the dark gray brick it was before.
Every time I see my fireplace now, I just smile so big! Cheesy, I know!! I just can’t believe that I finally have a stone fireplace!
I love coming downstairs to this view! 🙂
I also love the fact that I can look over from washing dishes or eating at our table, and still see the stone. 🙂
So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this fireplace makeover using AirStone. Here’s one more before and after:
Now I can’t help but wonder, where else can I use AirStone in my home?? Ha!! Have a wonderful weekend everyone, and thanks for reading!!